Ecuador’s highest court approved same-sex marriage on Wednesday.
This comes after a five-to-four vote of its nine judges in a closed hearing approved same-sex marriage on the idea that all people are equal.
Ecuador now joins the likes of Argentina, Brazil and Colombia who recognize same-sex marriage.
“It means that Ecuador is more egalitarian. It is more just than yesterday, that it recognizes that human rights must be for all people without discrimination,” said lawyer Christian Paula of the Patka Foundation.
According to the argument of the four dissenting judges, in order to recognize same-sex marriage, constitutional reform would have to be debated in the National Assembly.
Ecuadoran authorities are obliged to abide by decisions of the Constitutional Court, which were “binding and mandatory,” Gustavo Medina, a former Supreme Court president, told AFP.
Since 2015, the South American country has recognized de-facto civil unions for same-sex couples.